Alternative To Lync For Mac

I’m not a Mac guy. One of our web designers is; he LOVES his Mac. And he does produce some really sharp images on it for us.

So I know that more & more companies use Macs in the office. If not for everyday computing, then at least for specialist jobs like graphics work, web development, video.

And like everyone else, Mac users will want to stay in contact with co-workers. When it came to Lync Server, this was difficult at first – Mac-based clients weren’t first priority.

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But now that’s over with. Not only do we have a Lync client for the Mac, two clients for the iOS (iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad) are now available. Let’s take a look, hmm?

Microsoft Lync for Mac

Starting October 1st, Microsoft will ship the official Lync client for Mac.

(Credit to Mary Jo Foley for breaking the news.)

It’s got pretty much everything Lync for PC does: IM/Presence, voice and video, conferencing, desktop sharing, you name it. I don’t have a Mac to test this on, but the interface shots mirror Lync almost exactly.

Alternative To Lync For MacFor

You can use Lync for Mac with Lync Server 2010 and Lync Online (the Office 365 offering).

(Microsoft’s site says that “some voice capabilities require Lync Server 2010 and are not available with Lync Online.” Doesn’t give specifics though.)

Lync for Mac will be included with Office for Mac Standard 2011, via Volume Licensing.

Xync for iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android

Credit to Tom Arbuthnot at the Lync’d Up blog for this one. He did a review of Xync on his iPad 2 last month.
(I borrowed the below screenshots from there.)

Xync’s website says the client supports Presence, Search, Audio/Video and PSTN Calls. The “Conferencing” link in their FAQ didn’t work, so I don’t know how much of the Conferencing role is supported yet.

Tom tested sign-in, IM, making calls and adding video. He noted one interesting caveat here: When in a video call to a Lync user, the iPad video looks fine. But the video on the Lync side doesn’t look so good. (You can see the difference in his screenshots.) Commenters also noted that the Xync client crashes on sign-in. Possibly an interface bug, or just a glitch.

Xync is available in the Android Market and the iPhone/iPad App Stores for $19.99. At its website you’ll find a FAQ, guides and how-to videos.

iDialog for iPhone

I couldn’t review Xync and ignore where Tom’s coming from, could I?

Tom works for Modality Systems, which ALSO has a Lync client for iPhone: iDialog. I mentioned it last year in my “How to Use OCS 2007 on Your Mobile” post. iDialog has since been updated for use with Lync Server as well.

The one caveat with iDialog is that it does not take Lync calls directly. From their site:

“…a user can control incoming phone calls to their OCS or Lync phone numbers. iDialog does this by alerting the user to the incoming call and providing the option to forward the call to their mobile phone, voice mail, or another device.”

Lync For Mac 2011

However, you can reach contacts, IM, and change your presence status. The interface is nearly identical to Microsoft Lync, too.

iDialog is $9.99 in the iPhone App Store.

Never let it be said that, when it comes to Lync, Microsoft ignored the Mac users! In fact, I think the timetable for this release is faster than average – Microsoft doesn’t usually release a Mac software version this fast.

Maybe the third-party mobile apps have sped up timetables. Who knows. I’m glad the mobile apps exist; several good options for every mobile platform makes Lync adoption that much easier.


Alternative To Lync For Macbook

“If we move to Lync, can we use it on your iPhones?”
“What about my Droid?”

Yes. And yes.

Download Lync For Mac

Do you have Lync on your smartphone? What do you use?